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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Hearth in the open kitchen, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
A hearth without a fire

The open kitchen

A desire for representation characterized the entire palace and did not stop with the utilitarian rooms on the ground floor. The open kitchen was therefore used for exactly what it sounds like, “just for show.” It is one of the few rooms of its kind still in existence.

Open kitchen, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Hearth in the open kitchen.

Symbol of a good housewife

Steaming pots, fire and soot never touched this place. No cooking took place in the open kitchen; rather, the lady of the house's possessions were proudly displayed. Around 1700, there was no great differentiation between an open kitchen, a porcelain kitchen, or a porcelain cabinet. All three rooms served to display valuable porcelain and tableware. The open kitchen developed in Holland and was adopted by Protestant sovereigns as a representational room. At the Favorite Palace, the open kitchen was considered part of the princess's apartment, as it is today, while the true kitchen was located below her son's apartment.

Tableware in the open kitchen

Glazed earthenware from important factories are on display in the open kitchen. The extensive collections provide an idea of the variety of different shapes dishes had. Several plates and platers, pie plates, cream pots and pitchers come from the glazed earthenware factory in Hanau. Small, star-shaped platters along with obelisks and gnome figurines, which were used to decorate tables for festive meals, are from a factory in Ansbach.

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All lined up for examination: sparkling copper dishes and a diverse, carefully arranged selection of tableware were used to illustrate virtues, such as cleanliness, order and diligence, and to demonstrate wealth.

Displaying the ceramics

Even the “kitchen arch”—the term for the room next to the open kitchen—served to display glazed earthenware and stoneware. It follows that Sibylla Augusta lead her guests not just through the bel étage, but also through the rooms on the ground floor. Today, this is where the glazed earthenware collection is on display.

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